Vision Monday


FYidoctors Completes Series of Deals as it Prepares to Ramp Up Growth

By dba Staff
Wednesday, May 3, 2017 12:15 PM

Alan Ulsifer, OD
CALGARY, Alberta—FYidoctors, a private, optometrist-owned and operated eyecare company based here, has spent the past several months updating its infrastructure and supply chain as it readies for a new leg of growth, president and chief executive Dr. Alan Ulsifer told dba late last month.

“We were in the ready position,” Ulsifer said. “It’s now time to take advantage of all the work we’ve done [to create] an Omni channel platform. It’s a fun time for the company.”

In a series of recent moves, FYidoctors has announced that Specs Optometry, City Focus Optometry and Gole Eyeworks have become part of the FYidoctors group. With more than 450 optometrists servicing 260-plus locations (both corporately owned offices and Vision Source Canada locations), FYidoctors says it is Canada’s largest provider of ophthalmic products and services.

Michael Naugle, OD
In another step to put more focus on acquisitions, FYidoctors named Dr. Michael Naugle as director of optometric partnerships, a new role that was established as a way to “increase our footprint in key regions throughout Canada,” FYidoctors said.

Dr. Naugle, a founding member of FYidoctors and past vice chairman of the board of directors, will be responsible for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) of new practices, supporting the on-boarding process of new and existing practices and acting as a liaison for oncoming partnerships with the executive team.

Recently, FYidoctors also moved into a new updated lab facility that is just 15 minutes from the Vancouver airport, Ulsifer noted. The Delta Ophthalmic Laboratory is “one of the most innovative facilities in North America, with over 55,000 square feet and state-of-the art equipment and technology,” according to a FYidoctors announcement.

Delta Ophthalmic Laboratory produces and distributes a wide assortment of products, including 100 percent internal freeform lenses, stock lenses, coatings, contact lenses and exclusive, branded and private label frames.

With the lab now operating, FYidoctors is devoting more time to acquisitions. With the acquisition of Specs Optometry, a two-location practice that has served the communities of Airdrie and Carstairs, Alberta, for more than 20 years, the company also added several new ODs: Drs. Ali Moradian, Andrew Denson, Marie-Josee Laflamme, Patrick O’Brien and Karen Pinchak.

FYidoctors noted that this “acquisition bolsters FYidoctors’ position as a frontrunner in the Alberta marketplace and demonstrates our commitment to increasing our presence in Western Canada.”

With more than 450 optometrists servicing 260-plus locations,
FYidoctors says it is Canada’s largest provider of
ophthalmic products and services.
Ulsifer noted that earlier in his career he practiced in the current Specs Optometry location in Airdrie. “It is amazing how these communities have grown and how successful these two clinics have become. These are entrepreneurial doctors who have made a name for themselves in the community and I am very proud to have them on our team.”

In a separate acquisition, FYidoctors added City Focus Optometry and its staff of Dr. Laurie Dodds, Dr. Jill Bridges, Dr. Annie Drouin and Dr. Lori Lukey. City Focus is a long-standing and reputable practice located in downtown Calgary. Bridges, the founding doctor of City Focus, works closely with the Alberta Children’s Hospital in customizing contact lenses specifically for infant and toddler patients, an announcement noted.

“I am very pleased to add to our Calgary footprint,” Ulsifer said. “Despite the economic downturn, these doctors have continued to grow their practice and patient base because of their patient-first approach. Our brand continues to grow in Calgary and across the country and I am very proud to add City Focus to our team.”

A third deal, dating back to late 2016, saw FYidoctors acquire Gole Eyeworks, a long-standing practice with two locations serving the communities of Newmarket and Arthur, Ontario, according to a statement. Drs. Robert Gole, Najma Uddin, Michael Hinch and their staff subsequently joined the FYidoctors team.

“We’re building the board [of directors] and building the management team,” Ulsifer said in a recent interview with dba. In the current business market, optometrists control their own destiny. If there’s going to be consolidation, why can’t it be a group of doctors who are in position to accelerate that?”

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